Development of enzymes for the sustainable synthesis of pharmaceutically relevant amides under aqueous conditions.


A PhD studentship is available to work on a multidisciplinary project led by Professor Andrew Carnell on the discovery and development of enzymes for application in the sustainable synthesis pharmaceutically relevant amides. This studentship is fully funded by the Centre of Excellence for Biocatalysis, Biotransformation and Biocatalytic Manufacture (CoEBio3), an industry academic-consortium. In the project you will discover and develop a new class of hydrolase enzymes that have promiscuous activity for catalysing amide bond formation with high efficiency under aqueous conditions. This will be based on several new hit enzymes that we have recently identified. You will use a combination of computational methods and directed evolution to develop robust and scalable industrial biocatalysts. In addition to expanding the substrate range, enzymes will be developed for soluble expression and robustness for large scale application. 

This highly multi-disciplinary project will combine biocatalysis, molecular biology, and computational biology. You will receive training in all aspects of the project in world class research environment with access to state-of-the-art facilities for biocatalysis (Professor Carnell, Department of Chemistry), computational Biology (Professor Rigden, Institute of Systems, Molecular and Integrative Biology) and gene synthesis and screening (Dr Salcedo-Sora, Liverpool GeneMill). You will work within a highly motivated group engaged in the development of enzymes for industrial biotechnology. You will present your work at regular interdisciplinary research group meetings and at national conferences.

You should hold or expect to hold a first class or high 2:1 or equivalent in chemistry (MChem), biochemistry or molecular biology or related (Masters or BSc). Experience of lab work in molecular biology, protein biochemistry, computational biology would be an advantage but not a pre-requisite. Informal enquiries can be made to Professor Andrew Carnell ().

How to Apply Formal applications should be made to How to apply for a PhD programme - University of Liverpool quoting reference CCPR130.Candidates will be evaluated as applications are received, and the position may be filled before the deadline if a suitable candidate is identified.

This position is available from 1st October 2024

Please ensure you include the project title and reference number CCPR130 when applying.